Monday, June 17, 2013

Keroppi Green Tea Cookies

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EMEMBER WHEN kids were crazy for Keroppi?  Neither do I.  It seems that no Sanrio character has enjoyed as much success as Hello Kitty, especially with the help of celebrities like Paris Hilton and Mariah Carey who have catapulted the feline into the limelight, eclipsing all the other adorable characters.

I personally was partial to Pochacco because I love dogs.  I was never obsessed, but then there are people like my friend Victor.  Victor loves Keroppi; he probably loves Keroppi more than he loves most people.  In fact he has a collection of plush Keroppis, each of which has its own name (obviously), and remain in their individual dust bags to ensure continued cleanliness and longevity.  I don't know when Victor's Keroppi mania started but he would murder for Keroppi if an animated frog could issue a command to kill.  If that's not love (and/or borderline psychosis), I don't know what is.

I came across a Keroppi cookie from Jen of Tiny Urban Kitchen when I was looking for something to get Victor for his birthday.  I felt like I struck gold.  I mean seriously, after seeing these cookies, are you not in love with Keroppi too?




KEROPPI GREEN TEA COOKIES (adapted from Tiny Urban Kitchen)
Makes 2 dozen cookies, prep time: 2 hours (not including time in fridge), bake time: 8 minutes.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp matcha powder
  • Rainbow Chip Crunch sprinkles
  • pink or red food coloring

DIRECTIONS

1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl.  In a separate bowl blend sugar and butter until smooth.  Add egg, milk, and vanilla into this bowl and mix.  Then add the flour mixture slowly into the sugar and butter mixture until everything is smooth.

2. Separate the dough into 2 sections, with one section roughly twice as large as the other section.  Mix matcha powder into the larger section until dough is consistent in color.   Roll each section out to about 1/4" thickness, place between non-stick paper, and refrigerate until firm (30 minutes to an hour).

3. How to assemble a cookie: Use a shot glass to cut Keroppi bodies out of the green dough.  Then shape the dough a little, as Keroppi's body is more oblong than circular.  I used cake piping tips to cut eyes out of the "white" dough, and again to cut out the green dough where his eyes go.  Fit the eyes into the cut out face, and stick Rainbow Chip crunch sprinkles for his pupils.  Use a toothpick to imprint Keroppi's smile. Finally with some of the white dough, use pink or red food coloring for Keroppi's noteable pink cheeks.

4. Preheat oven to 375° and bake for approximately 8 minutes.


Enjoy! :)


Monday, June 10, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Vodka

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LCOHOL IS SO universally loved it that really does not need PR.  My friend made a quiz that calculates how much your vices stack up to be every year and I was blown away by my results.  My booze spendings were exorbitant enough to make me want to drown my sorrows that very instant (those bastards tend to float though).

After I was done letting out a string of expletives, I resolved to make some changes.  For one thing I've started taking wheatgrass shots (non-alcoholic, in case that wasn't clear).  This wake-up call to my wallet also helped me cut down to avoid getting gouged so heavily at bars, and I decided to begin making beverages at home to share with friends.

Last weekend I bought the biggest bottle of Vodka I've ever seen in my life from where else but Costco, and tried my hand at a refreshing strawberry rhubarb-infused vodka.



Better for my savings account but more detrimental to my liver.


INGREDIENTS Makes about 6-8 oz Vodka 
  • 1 1/2 cup quartered strawberries
  • 1 cup rhubarb, 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 cups Vodka

DIRECTIONS
Place rhubarb, strawberry, and vodka in a jar and refrigerate. I used a vintage Vodka decanter which had the perfect opening to keep the fruit contained when straining the mixture. Take care to give the jar a shake a couple of times every day for 5 days. 

After straining the strawberry/rhubarb out, combine the vodka with whatever you'd like!  We enjoyed it with a splash of grapefruit juice, a spritz of lime juice, and muddled mint leaves.